Apperian Targets Big Enterprises for Mobile App Management in BYOD Era

9/19/12Follow @gthuang

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some of that stuff with EASE, and make it painless for enterprise.” (As Goldman says, chief information officers spend half their lives trying not to get fired.)

Apperian is also fighting an acronym war of sorts. The company touts its mobile application management (MAM) approach, as opposed to the more traditional mobile device management (MDM) model, in which IT departments control devices at the OS level and do things like wipe entire devices clean when employees leave. Apperian’s platform is Web-based and free to try out, and to hear the company talk about it, it is much easier to use for enterprises that need to deploy and secure apps for tens of thousands of employees.

Case in point: An insurance company with 70,000 workers used Apperian’s system to release an internal communications app in the cloud and to invite employees to use it via e-mail. The company’s IT administrator could do things like control the distribution list, add security policies, delete the app if necessary, and track its use.

Another use case is a large regional bank which used Apperian’s software to manage internal apps so that they would show different content based on individual employees’ roles in the company, and have different security wrapping based on the sensitivity of the data.

The big theme here? Mobile security and management at the app level, rather than the device level, is an emerging business area. If done right (as Apperian says it’s doing), the approach is more nimble and can lead to greater adoption and usage of enterprise apps. “Applications are the new endpoint,” says Alan Murray, Apperian’s senior vice president of products. “MAM is where innovation is taking place.” To that end, Murray says, Apperian is working on things like helping businesses make their apps more context-aware—deciding whether they should be disabled in certain physical locations or when the device is connected to public Wi-Fi, say, or not run when certain other apps are running.

All of that said, mobile device management is still part of the puzzle for companies and IT organizations. “We go in as a complement to MDM,” says Patrick.

Now Patrick is overseeing a transition whereby Apperian is ramping up to target its sales and marketing to big Fortune 2000 enterprises. “We’ll be well set up for 2013,” he says. “We see a big opportunity to build a long-term, big company.”

Apperian started in early 2009 and raised seed funding from CommonAngels before closing a $9.5 million Series A round from North Bridge Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2011. The startup competes with more traditional mobile software companies such as AirWatch, MobileIron, and Sybase.

Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at gthuang@xconomy.com. Follow @gthuang

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